Parts and Installation cont.
Up top we have the combo I.O. ports/blow hole. Again, like the front intake, the blow hole is mostly eye candy. A good 70-80% of the stamped grill is solid metal and about the same for the plastic one on the exterior. Not much air is going to make it through that kind of maze. The I.O. panel has the standard usb, firewire and audio ports and closes neatly away when not in use.
The real cooling potential of this case lies in the side panel and dual 92mm fans placed there. It's a tried and true concept, pull off the side panel and place a house fan blowing into the case and temps drop. It works and works well, but the Quantum's approach certainly looks more appealing. I especially like the fact MGE uses allen screws and nuts to hold the wire mess in place rather than a less costly method to hold it in place. Even the case badge is held in place by leeetle beeety allen screws. It is little touches such as this that set a case apart from the crowd. The mesh grill is mirrored on the right panel as well, albeit minus the dual 92's. I suspect mostly for aesthetic reasons as solid mother board panel would prevent any real air movement through the right panel.
The jewel of this case would have to be the stylish LCD fan controller, she's a beauty. But she has brains as too; MGE packs a multitude of useful features into this unique unit. From MGE, figure 1 shows the display properties, Figure 2 the keypad functions (below left):
F1: Date and Time
F2: Temperature monitor
F3: Fan Speed Controller
F4: Power On
F5: HDD Activity
1. Fan Speed
2. Alarm temperature
3. Date and Time
You're going to want the manual to set up the display, but installation is quite straight forward. Power is provided via a 4 pin Molex connector. The hard drive indicator is clearly marked as are the three temperature probes. One for cpu, one for hard drive and one for system temp. The five included fans and two of your own plug in via 3-pin connectors located at the bottom front of the case. Unfortunately I do not have any info on the power handling capability of the unit.
All told it took maybe half-an-hour to leisurely drop a system in the Quantum. If you're a neatnik, wire management will be an obstacle but overall the design is very easy to work with.Conclusion (or Wrap it up ...I'll take it)
I'll save you the trouble of skipping to the end, I like the XG Quantum. In a market place where premodded cases are increasingly marketed to teenage boys, each company trying to out do the other with over-the-top designs that often have very little to do with function, the Quantum's design is very simply "classy". For those of you seeking a case for a HTPC and find the purpose built HTPC cases that are available limiting, the Quantum is certainly an good option. With a cool running chip, a Zalman HSF and the fan controller to keep noise down and all the room you'd want for a full size psu and drives, it's a great choice for the living room. The black and silver color options certainly compliment most home entertainment equipment. The Quantum doesn't look the least bit out of place along side my all black home entertainment center. The only problem would be confusing it for the sub woofer.
As expected the cooling performance of the Quantum is exceptional. The performance was right on par with my all aluminum Sky Hawk 1046 which has even more fans than the Quantum. It outpaced the Cheiftech based all aluminum Koolance case by over two degrees and my highly modified Antec 1080 by one degree. Not too shabby for a all steel premod.
Installation is fast and easy and you'd be hard pressed to find a sharp edge. The spacious interior negates the need for a removable mobo tray and allows plenty of room for upgrades. The five 5.25" bay design and open side panels would make this a excellent base for building a water cooled rig. Taking price, performance, functionality and aesthetics into account I can't help but award the XG Quantum "Pimp Gear" status and a give it a 8.5 on the pimp hat Richter scale. A quick "Froogle Google" places the Quantum's price from $109 to $130 with online retailers.
- Classic Styling
- Swanky LCD fan controller/temp monitor
- Outstanding cooling
- Spacious without needing it's own zip code
- Easy installation
The Less than Pimp
- Ineffective front and top fans
- Packaging less than bullet proof
(8.5 pimp hats)
A big shout out to the folks at MGE for sending the Quantum our way.